One of the positive aspects of the 2024 season is Shortstop  CJ Abrams’s breakthrough performance. In 2023, he displayed moments of excellence but struggled with consistency. However, this year, he has excelled, especially at the plate. Aside from a challenging month in May, Abrams has performed phenomenally at the plate, boasting a .850 OPS, 144 OPS+, 14 home runs, and 21 d in 330 plate appearances. These statistics are impressive for a shortstop and reflect superstar-level performance. Surprisingly, Abrams’ baserunning has declined this season, as he has been caught 10 times with only 14 stolen bases, compared to 47 steals and four times being caught in the previous season. Nonetheless, his outstanding batting performance outweighs this setback. If he can regain his 2023 prowess on the basepaths while maintaining his current batting performance, Abrams has the potential to be a star player for years to come.

James Wood Taking the Leap

James Wood performed well in High-A Wilmington before putting up decent, but not outstanding, numbers in Double-A Harrisburg. However, he struggled with striking out, with a rate of 33.7 percent in Double-A. It was clear that if Wood wanted to reach his full potential, he needed to improve his strikeout rate. After an impressive showing in spring training, he was sent down to Triple-A Rochester where he managed to reduce his strikeout rate to just 18.2 percent over 231 plate appearances, while also achieving an impressive 1.058 OPS. His performance led to his call-up to the Nationals on July 1. In his limited time in the major leagues, Wood has displayed confidence at the plate, although he has shown some difficulties adjusting to playing left field, a position he has little experience in.